We’ve all had terrifying moments with our dogs. You know, where your pup slips out the front door and is off like a shot, chasing after something halfway down the block. In the best case scenario, your dog stops when you whistle, spins around and trots straight back to you. In the worst case, he doesn’t even slow down at the end of the block and runs out into traffic.
Yeah, I know, these aren’t things we like to think about, but the reality is that our dogs (and cats) do sometimes have accidents. Or, they may become seriously ill with cancer or some other life-threatening disease. If you are like most of us, you’ll take your injured or sick pet to the vet and do whatever it takes to get them through the medical crisis.
Sometimes, the help needed comes in the form of a blood transfusion, but did you ever think about where that much-needed blood comes from? Turns out that dogs (and cats) can give blood. There are restrictions, of course. Just like people, dogs need to be healthy and will go through a screening process before being accepted as donors. Small dogs aren’t suitable - the minimum weight for a donor is generally 25 kg. Dogs age out of the program by the time they are about eight years old, a bit younger for really large breeds.
Collecting blood from dogs isn’t a difficult process. Generally, only calm dogs that are happy to be involved are used. After the blood is drawn, they get a snack and a drink and are sent on their way quite quickly. Whole blood that’s collected can be used right away, but if it isn’t needed, it gets spun in a centrifuge and the component parts can be kept frozen for up to a year.
We’d love to know if your dog is already a blood donor. How does the process work with your vet? If your dog hasn’t given blood, would you be interested in becoming involved? What would make that easier? What would stop you? We would like to make an impact and help facilitate the process. How do you think we could help? Get in touch with the Rawmate pack and let us know your thoughts.